Monday, August 22, 2016

What a client thinks

Hi Chris,

It was a pleasure meeting you during the home inspection. We have reviewed your very thorough report. Wow that was a lot of information. We appreciate the level of detail. The report is very well organized and very easy to read. Great job!

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What a Realtor Thinks

Posted today by a Realtor as a comment to a FaceBook posting:

"My son has started looking (for a house to purchase), and I have already told him that I know who I want to use to inspect. The one I would trust MY BABY with, speaks volumes."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What a Realtor Thinks

Review on Yelp by real estate company owner Nathan Hepler actually brought tears to this old mans eyes:

"If you are in the business you will know that Inspectors have all different skill levels, not one on the planet will find every single flaw or make every single client happy every single time. Chris Hilton goes above all others in explaining what’s going on with the house that my clients are getting ready to purchase, has a website that I can see his schedule when I need him on a short notice. As far as knowledge goes I have dealt with over 10 home inspectors in the last 10 years on being the owner of Hepler Realty, nobody has more knowledge in my experience with home inspectors than Chris. This guy knows his stuff, and uses photos, some inspectors don't! And doesn't quote out work to your client for fixing (this is a contractors job). Bottom line my clients get what they need with a report that back up any need for repairs from the seller to make. Also I once called 3 inspectors to inspect my church roof, not one could do it within 2 weeks but Chris came out and walked the roof, and didnt even charge! That is an honest person with integrity, and earned mad respect from lots of people in the community!"

In realty Nathan treated me to a first class cheese burger and fries for walking that roof with him. I will do anything for a good meal. Click here to see the post on this  Blog. Any one else feel the urge to write a review good or bad you can do so by googling "Yelp Chris D Hilton"

Thanks Nathan

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Radon, Asbestos, Mold.…Now Can Hardwood Floors Kill Your Deal?

Guest posting by: Danny Gough Energy Solutions, Inc.

CBS’s 60 Minutes set off a firestorm of controversy in their March 1st telecast. Investigators found that Lumber Liquidators has been selling laminate flooring made in China, which contains high levels of formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (cancer causing substance), frequently found in adhesives used to manufacture flooring, cabinets, insulation and other “pressed wood” products. Breathing elevated levels indoors can cause adverse health effects. While some individuals may have manageable reactions, children, senior adults and pregnant women are most at risk. Symptoms include watery eyes, burning nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation. More information on formaldehyde risk can be found at the Center for Diseases and the EPA.

http://www2.epa.gov/formaldehyde/protect-against-exposure-formaldehyde

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drywall/docs/whatyoushouldknowaboutformaldehyde.pdf 

The 60 Minutes segment reported that more than 150 boxes of laminate flooring was sent to three certified labs for a series of tests. Every sample of Chinese-made laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators failed to meet California formaldehyde emissions standards. Many failed by a large margin. Some of the samples tested contained close to 20 times the amount of formaldehyde allowed by law. (Federal legislation signed into law on July 7, 2010, mirrors the California standard.) Problem is, this material has been installed in hundreds of thousands of homes around the country.

Lumber Liquidators stock has been hammered and they face consumer class-action suits filed in California and Massachusetts accusing them of harming customers who bought products laden with formaldehyde. Lozeau Drury LLP an environmental law firm behind the California case says, “if you've purchased laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators in the past 4 years, you may have been exposed to high levels of formaldehyde”.

But many experts fear toxic flooring may not be limited to just Lumber Liquidators. Using hidden cameras, the 60 Minutes segment shows the manager of a Chinese manufacturing plant admitting to falsely labeling flooring as compliant with strict formaldehyde emissions standards, even though he knew the material did not. There is concern that this may be a habitual pattern.

Occupants in newer homes may be at greater risk for unhealthy concentrations. That’s because the attention to energy savings over the last 40 years has produced exceptionally airtight houses. Plus, with central heating and air, hardly anyone opens windows anymore. While saving energy is good, airtight homes are usually very poorly ventilated. Without fresh air, pollutants are trapped inside the home where they quickly accumulate to unsafe levels.

Are there things an agent can do to protect your client while protecting yourself?

Here are some tips that may help.

  1. It may be useful to know that studies have shown chemical emissions generally decrease as a material ages. Consequently, if a floor is 5-10 years old, there is less concern over formaldehyde emissions compared to newer material.
  2. Full disclosure is always the best policy. So if you suspect a problem, inform your client. Keep in mind that not all laminate flooring is defective and/or unhealthy. But, it is exceptionally wise to ask questions about products manufactured and imported from China.
  3. If you are the buyer's agent and you notice laminate flooring, ask the listing agent if the seller can provide documentation from the manufacturer. This information might include certificates of compliance or labels that demonstrate the material meets formaldehyde emission standards. Unfortunately, this isn’t foolproof because we now know that flooring products may have been falsely labeled.
    Three such endorsements are:
    The Healthy Building Network – www.healthybuilding.net
    GreenGuard – www.greenguard.org
    California Air Resources Board – www.arb.ca.gov
    Specifically, Carb 2 reflects compliance with California’s formaldehyde emission standards (i.e., CARB Phase 2)
  4. If you are the listing agent, and your seller has laminate flooring, be proactive and ask them where they bought it. Seek documentation and look for the same information as discussed above. It's better to know this than to get ambushed later in the negotiation process.
  5. If you are the listing agent and your client is going to be installing laminate flooring to improve marketability, explain the concern about formaldehyde emissions and how selecting the wrong material could adversely affect the sale of their property. Provide the same recommendations described above about reviewing documentation before purchasing flooring. A sensible course is to look for products that are “formaldehyde free”. Several manufacturers have substituted safer alternatives to formaldehyde such as glue made from soy. This can then become a benefit that might help sell the home quicker.
  6. Best practice to protect all parties is to conduct air quality testing. Testing for formaldehyde takes just a few hours and typically costs less than $300. Solving the mystery of what the client’s family will be breathing can reduce stress and worry for everyone involved. Even when test results show elevated levels of formaldehyde, it doesn’t necessarily mean the floor must be replaced. There are several strategies to handle the problem with minimal intrusion.

    For more information contact:
    Danny Gough Energy Solutions, Inc.
    (336) 463-2005 Danny@energysolutionsnc.com

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What a Client Thinks

Check out this comment left today in the Mover Thank You Guest Book:

"Chris Hilton, Winston-Salem NC(chris@chrisdhilton.com ) did two inspections for us. His professional manner, his attention to detail on site and in printed report will benefit anyone who uses him as their inspector. The report on the first house made us realize the money pit it would become. The second confirmed that we were learning better what to look for and this house will serve us well. To truly benefit from such a huge financial investment call Chris Hilton."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What a client thinks

Recent review left on Google Plus by a client moving here from Louisiana purchasing new construction: 
"Chris is the first home inspector I've hired who is truly knowledgeable about buildings. He is completely professional and exceptionally thorough. I feel that he approached my home inspection like his reputation depended on it. And because of his tough reputation, I didn't even have to ask the seller to address the issues. My real estate agent delivered the message to me with a laugh: the seller called her first with an offer to fix all the issues on the report. I could have gone with other inspectors who advertised lower fees, but I truly believe I came out ahead financially with all the seller agreed to and no hassles."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What a client thinks

Posted on Google by a recent client: 
"Efficient and extremely thorough inspector. Also friendly. Definitely worth it. Without him my FiancĂ© and I would have BOUGHT a nightmare."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Melted siding, damage to cars and fires from low "E" windows

For many years myself and other home inspectors have been noticing vinyl siding warped and melted similar to that in this photo. We have been scratching our heads attempting to determine why. It appeared in many cases that it was in a corner near a window and was being caused by reflection of sun off of the window. With research you will find much worse issues with larger damage and damaged to cars parked in adjacent parking lots and even causing fires.

http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Engineering_and_Codes/Documents/TempRules/140610ResidentialLowEGlazingEffectiveJuly2,2014.pdf
Here is a link to a very interesting news report from WRAL TV:
If your home or condo is experiencing this you need to pay attention to the information provided above!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What a Realtor Thinks

Realtor Comment on my Yelp account: "I recommend Chris at the top of my list. He is so thorough, exceeding standards set by the state and provides continuing education and recall check services to my clients through newsletters and access to his blogs. I build relationships with my clients and he helps me maintain those by providing value. He has a very understanding almost gentle way of helping nervous homebuyers that educates while never making them feel ignorant. I love the way he makes me look good to my clients through his doing a great job for them."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What a client thinks


Recent comment in the Lowe's Mover Thank You guest book:

"Chris Hilton is well organized and very through. His inspection gave us everything we needed to make an intelligent decision about negotiating due diligence items during our home purchase."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monster Free Guarantee

Are your children concerned about
monsters, ghost and gremlins?
No need for that any longer in their new home. As part of my RecallChek service I also inspect for monsters, ghost and gremlins. I will even deal with a zombie if encountered. If I encounter any of these entities in your home they are professionally removed and all monsters, ghost, gremlins and zombies are banned from all homes I inspect for the life of the home. 

Included free (on request) with every home inspection is a Certificate of Guarantee that the home is MONSTER FREE.

You and your children may sleep well knowing that there are NO monsters, ghosts or gremlins anywhere on the premises including but not limited to the closet, the basement, the attic, under the bed or under the stairs. Check out this video:


Check out the certificate you will receive (on request) for framing.
Place it in your child's room for their assurance that their room and their home is
MONSTER FREE 

Disclaimer: All monsters, ghosts, gremlins and zombies removed from homes are humanly treated and shipped to an escape proof sanctuary for their safe keeping.

Friday, March 7, 2014

How Will You Stay Warm Safely If The Power Goes Out?



By: Jeannie M. Leonard, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent



Have you ever been without electricity in the middle of a winter storm? How are you going to keep warm and dry? Sometimes during severe winter storms your home heating system could be inoperative for as long as several days. Keep in mind that alternate heating sources can be dangerous or even deadly without the right handling.

The first thing to do if you lose power and your heating source during a winter storm is to minimize discomfort and possible health problems during this time. Begin by conserving body heat by putting on extra clothing. If the cold is severe, your bed may be the warmest place in the house. Be sure to use extra blankets and covers to trap body heat; this is an especially good way to keep children warm.

Your next step in keeping warm during this time is to find or improvise an alternative heat source. Your possibilities may include a fireplace, space heater, catalytic camp stove, wood, gas or oil heater; or a gas-fired hot water heater. Some common materials that can be used for fuel include firewood, newspapers, magazines, camp stove fuel, kerosene, wood chips, straw or corncobs. You can burn coal in a fireplace or stove if you make a grate to hold it, allowing air to circulate underneath. A “hardware cloth” screening placed on a standard wood grate will keep coal from falling through. Tightly rolled newspapers or magazines can be used as paper “logs”. Stack them as you would stack firewood to allow for air circulation.

To increase the efficiently of available heat and close off all rooms except the one to be heated. When selecting a room you need to consider the following tips. If using a vented stove or space heater, select a room with a stove or chimney flue. You should confine emergency heat to a small area. Try to select a room on the “warm” side of the house, away from prevailing winds. Avoid rooms with large windows or uninsulated walls. Interior bathrooms probably have the lowest air leakage and heat loss. Your basement may be a warm place in cold weather because the earth acts as insulation and minimizes heat loss. Isolate the room from the rest of the house by keeping doors closed, hanging bedding or heavy drapes over entryways, or by erecting temporary partitions of cardboard or plywood. Hang drapes, bedding or shower curtains over doors and windows.

While the chances of freezing to death in your home are small, there’s a greater danger of death by fire, lack of oxygen or carbon monoxide poisoning.  Safety is of extreme importance in heating emergency. Follow these precautions:
  • Do not burn anything larger than a candle inside your home without providing adequate ventilation to the outside.
  • Any type of heater (except electric) should be vented. Connect the stove pipe to a chimney flue if at all possible. (Many older homes have capped pipe thimbles in rooms once heated by stoves.) Or hook up your stove to the flue entrance of the non-functioning furnace pipe. If no other alternative exists, consider extending a stove pipe through a window. Replace the window glass with a metal sheet and run the temporary stove pipe through the metal.
  • If you use a catalytic or unvented heater, cross-ventilate by opening a window an inch on each side of the room. It is better to let in some cold air than to run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not use a gas or electric oven or surface units for heating. A gas oven may go out or burn inefficiently, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. An electric oven was not designed for space heating.
  • Do not burn outdoor barbecue materials such as charcoal briquettes inside-even in a fireplace.
  • Do not try to used bottled gas in natural gas appliances unless you have converted the appliances for such use. Also flues and piping suitable for gas-burning appliances maybe unsafe for use with higher temperature oil, coal, or wood smoke.
  • Have one person watch for fire whenever alternative heat sources are used. One person should also stay awake to watch for fire and to make sure ventilation is adequate. If the designated person feels drowsy or has a headache, it may be a sign of inadequate ventilation.
  • Keep firefighting materials on hand. These may include: dry powder fire extinguishers, a tarp or heavy blanket, sand, salt, baking soda. And water.
For additional information the NC Cooperative Extension has a publication entitled “Preparing for Emergences".